[B]I, 18 Virama pratyaya abhyasa purvah samskara sisah anyah
of thorough knowledge
is preceded by resolute practice
to completely cease
identification with the contents of the mind.
As a result,
only subliminal impressions remain
and their residue
has no impact on the mind.[/b]
And so our road map to samadhi continues !
Both Sw. Satchidananda and Shyam believe that this sutra describes asamprajnata (undistinguished) samadhi or nirbija (without seed) samadhi. In this state there is no ego or samskaras. This is the ultimate state of samadhi.
Iyengar, on the other hand, believes that it describes the penultimate stage. He provides examples of those that have experienced this stage and have emerged to reach nirbija samadhi; they include Sri Rmamkrishna, Ramana Maharshi and Sri Aurobindo.
I suppose knowing that there is a progression of stages within samadhi informs me that it can be a long journey back to the Self but because these stages are described, it is attainable; furthermore, these benchmarks provide guidance for this journey.
Iyengar, B.K.S., Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. New Delhi, India: Harper Collins Publications India. 1993
Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Buckingham, VA: Integral Yoga Publications. 2004
Swami Shyam, Patanjali Yog Darshan, India: International Meditation Institute, 2001, 3rd. edition.
Stiles, M., Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Boston, MA: Red Wheel/Weiser LLC. 2002